April 19, 2013, 6:07 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Today (April 18th 2013) the three muralists from Derry, N. Ireland known as The Bogside Artists met with His Holiness The Dalai Lama for the second time. The first time they met was almost a year ago in Maribor, Slovenia then European City of Culture 2012. The Bogside Artists had been invited there to paint a mural for the city. They painted "The Monk" in tribute to the suffering Buddhist monks of Tibet. The mural was unveiled in the city square by The Dalai Lama.
His holiness was recently invited to the artists' home town of Derry to take part in that city's cultural program in aid of the global charity founded by the Dalai Lama's close friend Richard Moore also a friend of the artists. Richard was only 10 years old when he was blinded for life by a plastic bullet fired by the British soldier. Later he met with the soldier and expressed his forgiveness for the crime against him. He and the soldier subsequently became firm friends.
It was Richard who arranged this second meeting. A private room was set aside at the City Hotel where the artists could meet again with the Dalai Lama. There they presented him with a framed photo of their mural for Maribor and its inspirational source the Annette McGavigan Mural that exists in the Bogside as one of twelve murals that comprise The People's Gallery that the artists created between 1994 and 2006.
The gallery was never consistently funded by the local council except for the year 2004/5 on account of ingrained and unfounded antipathy by Sinn Fein councillors towards the muralists. "The reason for the antipathy is simple," explained artist and spokesman Tom Kelly, "Sinn Fein had nothing to do with the creation of the murals, therefore they refuse to support them. Just recently they joined forces with the Unionists in council to stop dead funding the council had already granted us after many years to maintain them. Because they cannot own them they want nothing to do with them. The murals were funded entirely by the local people and tell their story of over three decades of political conflict that beset the city and the province since 1968. Annette McGavigan was a fourteen year old schoolgirl killed by soldiers in September 1971. The theme of innocence therefore links both Annette's mural and the mural for Tibet."
The Bogside Artists are currently fund raising to restore the murals of The
People's Gallery. You can donate via the main page of their website:
For a fuller explanation of the murals mentioned in this article visit; http://www.bogsideartists.com/blog/?p=1519